Karlsruhe. Block II of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant (GKN II) has been back online since yesterday (Tuesday, 20 October 2015) following the completion of its annual inspection. Over the past few weeks, testing and maintenance work was completed, fuel elements were replaced and a number of technical projects were implemented. Around 900 additional employees from manufacturing and specialist companies supported the extensive work during the inspection. The entire team completed around 3,300 individual activities.
“Following the completion of the inspection, GKN II – along with Block 2 in Philippsburg – is now once again making an important contribution to the reliable and climate-friendly supply of electricity in Baden-Württemberg. The two plants together generated more than 21.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2014.” explained Christoph Heil, Managing Director of EnBW Kernkraft GmbH responsible for power plant operations. “Safety continues to hold the highest priority. Therefore, we have once again invested in the high level of safety of our power plant with this inspection. These high safety standards also apply to our power plants that have already been shut down and are now in post-closure operation, as well as to the dismantling of our nuclear power plants.”
Inspection programme successfully implemented
“We are very satisfied with the progression of this year's inspection work. It was possible to successfully implement all of the planned activities. The cooperation between our own employees and the additional experts worked very well as always”, reported Harald Poppe, Head of the Block II power plant. “Alongside numerous routine tasks, we primarily completed those activities that can only be performed when the plant had been shut down. This includes, for example, inspecting the high-pressure turbine and generator. Pressure tests and interior inspections were carried out on three of the four steam generators. In addition, we also inspected one of the four main coolant pumps.”
The inspection work took place under the supervision of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry for the Environment, Climate Protection and the Energy Industry and was accompanied by auditors from TÜV and KeTAG (Baden-Württemberg Auditors Consortium for Nuclear Technology) appointed by the ministry. Following acceptance of the work, the Ministry gave its approval for the power plant block to be restarted.
Block II of the Neckarwestheim nuclear power plant is a pressurised water reactor with an electrical output of 1,400 megawatts. The power plant was commissioned in 1989 and generated around eleven billion kilowatt hours of electricity in 2014.
Block II is operated by EnBW Kernkraft GmbH (EnKK). EnKK stands for safety in the operation and post operation, as well as the decommissioning and dismantling of the nuclear power plants in Baden-Württemberg. In Neckarwestheim and Philippsburg, EnKK generates electricity with one nuclear power plant at each location (GKN II and KKP 2). A further power plant that no longer produces electricity is located at each of the sites (GKN I and KKP 1). EnKK is currently preparing for the decommissioning of those power plants that have been shut down and has submitted the first applications to this end. Good progress has been made with the dismantling of the nuclear power plant at the Obrigheim location since 2008.